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Should You Buy a Refurbished Hard Drive?

If you are in the market for buying a new hard drive you may have discovered that you can buy them refurbished. But are these refurbished drives worth the cheaper price tag?
When it comes to electronics the definition of refurbished can have quite a varied meaning. It could mean that the hard drive has in the past been broken, like chunks of data corrupting consistently, but has now been supposedly fixed. It could also mean that it was a perfectly functional drive that has just had all the data wiped from it. Make sure to enquire to the vendor what their definition of refurbished exactly is.
One thing to bear in mind if you are thinking of buying a refurbished drive is where you get it from. Getting it from a local store or from an online auction site is less reputable than if you were to get it straight from the manufacturer. This is because these places may not have performed any sort of professional testing on the drive to make sure that it functions well. When possible, go straight to the source for that extra layer of protection. Some manufacturers will put a label on the drive to say that it has been brought back to their original standards and certified for use.
Also, when you buy a refurbished drive then it is more than likely that you are going to get a limited warranty – usually something like 90 days is standard. This pales in comparison to the one to three year warranties that you can get on buying a hard drive brand new. Make sure that wherever you buy from has a returns policy. This will allow you to find out if the drive has any issues early on and perhaps perform a few stress tests of your own. A drive may happily function for a few weeks, but it can turn nasty quickly; it’s best to try and catch any issues early on if you can. Finally, ensure that everything you will need for the hard drive comes included, like the connectors or instruction manual. You want to be getting the full package.
The real question, though, is whether or not you should even buy a refurbished hard drive in the first place? You have to consider that you do not know the quality of the refurbished drive or its past history. The component that fails most in a computer is a hard drive, so buying a drive that has been refurbished is asking for trouble. Why go through the trouble of storing important data on a drive of questionable quality? Hard drives are getting cheaper and cheaper and so buying one second hand is not really advisable – it doesn’t particularly work out to much of a discount buying one refurbished anyway.
In summary, if you are looking to buy a hard drive then you should certainly get one brand new. This ensures that you are getting the best out of the drive (as much protection as a hard drive offers you, anyway!) and the full manufacturer’s warranty.


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